lay down

Idioms & Phrases

lay down

  1. Give something up, surrender, as in They laid down their arms. [c. 1300]

  2. Formulate, specify, as in The club laid down new membership rules. [Late 1400s]

  3. Also, lay down one's life. Sacrifice one's life, as in He would willingly lay down his life for his children. [c. 1600]

  4. Store for the future, as in It was a great vintage year for burgundy, and Mark laid down several cases. [Early 1800s] Also see lay aside, def. 2.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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